If you’ve made it 244 meters to the top of London’s newly-opened The Shard building then you’re probably going to want to check-in on Facebook, or call your mum.
The trouble is that traditional mobile signal doesn’t travel skywards as well as it does across the surface so reaching the viewing platform on the 72nd floor of The EU’s tallest building proved a little problematic.
That’s where the brainiacs at Vodafone lent a helping hand to give its customers a a “strong, reliable signal” even from the highest vantage point in many-a-country.
The company has installed tech which converts signal into light, sends it up a fibre-optic elevator (of sorts) and then back into a radio signal when it reaches the viewing platform. Pretty cool, huh?
Vodafone’s Chris Hoggs explained on the company’s blog: “Anything more than 100 metres above the antenna and you can’t guarantee the signal because that’s not where it’s intended to be used.”
“We’ve installed a system that converts the mobile signal into light that travels up a fibre optic cable, and then a unit at the other end converts it back into a radio signal that gets distributed around the floor.”
The result is a perfectly strong signal that can be used by the 200 people enjoying the 40-mile panoramic views around London at any one time, along with all of the folks working on the floors below.
The View from The Shard exhibit opened on February 1, if you’re interested in checking it out for yourselves.